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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    Currently at 4:54 AM 57°


    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD

    Entries in This Dangerous Year (48)

    Monday
    Aug142017

    Toddler Watch: But Nobody Else Likes Me Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a book
    Friends,

    The person who was selected by the Republican Party to be their nominee for president of these United States has a problem. He has no friends. He's surrounded by suck-ups and toadies, but nobody actually likes this man. When you have as fragile an ego as Ivanka's dad, you do things to make people like you. Like what, you may ask.

    Like taking great pains not to offend Nazis.

    Over the weekend, aggrieved white nationalists, fascists, neo-Nazis, and real Nazis descended on Charlottesville, Virginia for a rally to protest taking down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and to cause some trouble. They surrounded a black church during services, terrifying parishioners. They attempted home invasions in a predominately black area of town, and set up battle lines in a park dedicated to peace. Later on Saturday, one of the Nazis got in his Dodge Challenger and plowed into a crowd of anti-protesters, killing one and injuring 19.

    What did Melania's husband have to say about it? He condemned the violence on all sides, that's what. Nothing about disavowing Nazis or white nationalists or skinheads, and they were thrilled that they weren't called out. They've got a pal in the White House, they crowed.

    Yes, it would seem that they do. A man who needs all the friends he can get at this point.

    We fought a world war to get rid of Nazis, and now the president of these entire United States (and Guam. -ed) is playing footsie with a home-grown terror gang.

    This is not normal.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Jul262017

    Toddler Watch: Leggo My Ego Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a book
    Friends,

    A day ago, the 45th president of these United States has held a political rally at the Boy Scout Jamboree where he thanked the 12-year olds in the crowd for voting for him and goaded them into booing the 44th president. This is a startling breach of protocol not only for a sitting president, but also for a normal human being with a sense of ethics.

    Two days ago, the 45th president dedicated a new aircraft carrier—one named after the guy who pardoned 45's prototypical president, Richard Nixon—and as commander-in-chief, ordered the service men and women in attendance to support his political agenda. This stuff used to happen in tin pot, third world dictatorships. Until now.

    This is not normal.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Jun282017

    Toddler Watch: I’m Smart, I Know Things! Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    The 45th president of these United States, better known as Marla Maples’ ex-husband, is a mentally unstable sociopath with narcissistic tendencies. On that we can certainly agree. What we might disagree on is his healthcare policy expertise. Sometimes it’s pretty difficult for him to grasp. Sometimes it’s easy…

    A lovely centered picture of a tweet from a robot

    Again, this sort of thing doesn't happen in a functioning democracy, but it happened yesterday in the United States of America.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Tuesday
    Jun132017

    Toddler Watch: Dear Leader Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    The 45th president of these United States, better known as Jared Kushner's father in-law, held the first meeting of his entire cabinet yesterday. This is a motley crew of GOP lifers, hangers-on, dopes, fire starters, and Mitch McConnell's wife (who is several of those things. -ed). While mostly a photo opportunity, a startling and brazenly un-American thing happened—one by one, they went around the room pledging their loyalty to the president.

    This doesn't happen in a functioning democracy, but it happened yesterday.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    May262017

    Toddler Watch: Poor Impulse Control Edition

    Friends,

    The United States of America, a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, last year elected an orange buffoon as its leader. One of the reasons that old white people in this country voted for him, we're told, is that because they're anxious about their economic fortunes, they thought a successful businessman would be the best choice. This man would negotiate trade deals with other nations that tilt in favor of the United States. A master negotiator would also be able to bend foreign ministers to his will, the thinking goes, to ensure that America isn't stuck holding the nightstick as the "world's policeman."

    Here's the master negotiator in action at his first NATO summit in Brussels...


    Economically anxious white people in Montana also voted in a special election yesterday to elect a man who beat up a reporter the day before as their sole congressional representative. This is more dangerous.

    I strongly believe that NATO is a self-healing institution and can route around problems, like the grandstanding grifter who lists "45th President" when he takes out new loans with the Russians. However, he and the new GOP representative from Montana, and the people who support them, are showing that it's okay to rough people up to get what you want. That it's perfectly fine to beat on a member of the media who's pressing to get a question answered on the eve of an important election.

    Pay attention to these things, dear reader. This is how we lose a democracy.

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Tuesday
    May162017

    Toddler President Watch: Leaking State Secrets Edition

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    A heavily-sourced story by the fine folks at The Washington Post (Cripes, are they going to save this nation's bacon again? every 45 years, like clockwork. -ed) reported that some septuagenarian toddler we call the 45th president shared highly classified information with the Russian ambassador. You remember the Russians, don't you? They're the ones who threw the last election toward said toddler through a disinformation campaign fueled by hackers, social media dupes, and willing stooges.

    Anyway, the toddler's nannies and enablers in the White House denied the story yesterday. This seems pretty normal. Why would you admit that you shared secrets that inherently compromise our sources with the enemies of our democracy?

    I don't know. Why don't you ask that toddler yourself, since he admitted sharing that information today.

    It's not a crime, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be removed from office for doing it. In fact, it helps reinforce the existing case for impeachment. Now all we need is a Congress that worries more about the country than their party.

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Thursday
    May042017

    You Know, General Welfare

    A lovely centered picture of a poster
    Friends,

    The coalition of GOP sharps, weasels and dandies along with the dullards, chicken frighteners and snake charmers in the U.S. House of Representatives are poised to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act this morning. Well, not so much a replacement as a tax cut for the wealthy that's paid for by pricing 20 million Americans out of their health insurance. Why?

    Campaign donations and fear of facing a primary challenger who lacks more spine and heart than the incumbent. By the way, lacking a spine and a heart would qualify as pre-existing conditions for these goons, punting them into expensive high-risk insurance pools...

    Or it would if Congress hadn't exempted members from their new scheme that's just fine for you. Good luck!

    Your best pal,

    - bob
    Friday
    Feb032017

    On The 25th Amendment

    A lovely centered picture of a nice lady doing nice things
    Friends,

    Sometimes you've just got to get rid of the president. Maybe you start hearings and he resigns and you get the mess pictured above, and sometimes you invoke the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because the president is unfit to serve. Either way, now would be a good time to do either of those things.

    And please remember to punch a Nazi. Thank you.

    Your very best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Dec142016

    Transition Team

    A lovely centered picture of the transition team selecting cabinet secretaries.

    Friends,

    It seems that the transition from the administration of the 44th President of The United States to the 45th is going great as illustrated in this photo taken during a meeting in Trump Tower. The selection of people who know nothing to run government agencies they hate and have longed to dismantle is an enormous middle finger to the less than one quarter of the registered voters who selected this carnival barker.

    You know, they guy who's too smart to listen to intelligence briefings? Yeah, that guy.

    We're doomed.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    IMPORTANT GOVERNANCE UPDATE: Oh yeah, he also picks people based on their looks. What a buffoon.
    Wednesday
    Nov232016

    Happy Thanksgiving: Presidential Edition

    A lovely centered picture of the president of turkey.

    Friends,

    Just a brief note to wish you all the very best Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It's been a rough couple of weeks, but let's take a couple days off to relax with friends and family before we get back to our plans to win the midterms!

    Or something.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    P.S. Special thanks to the President of Turkey for his appearance at the beginning of this post. Now it really feels like Thanksgiving.
    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    The 2016 Jaunty Election Guide: Something Easy

    A lovely centered picture encouraging you to vote

     

    Friends,

    I have to admit that this election has left me cold and exhausted. I certainly haven't been as interested in discussing the merits of banning plastic bags, which I support, against grabbing bag fees and reallocating them towards something else, which is a trick by the plastics industry. We get the chance to end the death penalty in the state during this election and that should have been a big topic for debate, but it wasn't.

    What we got instead was so many candidates for President of the United States that the selection process resembled little more than news anchors swatting at a hornets' next with a stick that was far too short. Thanks to the insatiable teevee ratings machine, a bloviating yam was given too much free airtime to make outrageous, and to my sensitive ears unamerican, statements about minorities and majorities. Once they had the statements recorded, they could play them over and over, asking pundits what they thought about them. "Outragous or TOO outrageous? We'll ask our panel after this commercial break..."

    While this was happening, people who would normally be considered apologists for any other candidiate in any other election cycle instead went on camera and denied that their favorite tangerine-tinted bota bag ever said anything offensive. Or even said that thing that was on full display on the video running beside them. I believe that this distaste for the facts is unprecedented in Republican politics, and that's really saying something considering their recent history in the Congress.

    What alarms me about this election is that there are so many disqualifying aspects to the GOP's Orange Julius Caesar that it's hard to know where to start: Financial ties to Russia? He hasn't released his taxes? In hock up to his eyeballs? Bragging about sexual assault? Misuse of a personal charity? Calling for the trial, jailing or assasination of his political opponent?

    That's not the alarming part. We know he's a terrible human being. What's alarming is that there are too many people in this country who think all of that is okay. Okay in their president.

    It's not okay. It never was. You can help save the United States and the rest of the free world by voting for a competent candidate who won't throw a temper tantrum and blow us all up. You can vote for a woman who has the skills to apply reason to a problem, not just a tweet storm. You can vote for someone with a lifetime of public service who has faced scrutiny and survived instead of a man who lashes out when people make fun of his tiny hands.

    You have one job America.

    Thursday
    Jul182013

    Run!

    This was just the beginning of our troubles.

    Friends,

    You may have heard that we're having a little hubbub up here. Due to an inconvenience we like to call the Mountain Fire, encroaching on our pristine and very piney paradise, authorities asked everyone to evacuate last evening. 

    Reflecting back, maybe "ask" is the wrong word.

    I have found shelter at a location very near the Festival of Dirt where I could see flames running up to the ridgeline this morning. Not very comforting at all.

    I'll try to keep you posted here as events unfold, but for more up-to-date news, I'm sharing other people's posts on Facebook. Maps, photos, pessimism, it's all there!

    Stay safe.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Thursday
    May162013

    I'm Doomed

    Friends,

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released their latest report on the crashworthiness of "compact SUVs" which groups the little Hyundai with the Ford Escape tall-ish micro station wagons with wee body on frame trucklets, which includes the only one extant—the Jeep Wrangler. Guess who did poorly?

    C'mon, guess.

    Yeah. I own one of those wee little trucklets and this report says that I'm going to die a horrible death in their new and redesigned crash tests. This is yet one more data point telling me that driving around is dangerous. Commuting 101 miles a day is crazy, right? I'm surely exposing myself to far too much risk every weekday.

    But wait, there's another big problem with a lot of driving that the insurance industry group fails to mention...

     

    Stick with it until the end.

    I'm smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I'm smart and I want respect!

    - bob

     

    Wednesday
    Oct192011

    Mountain Lion Spotted! Still Checking For Pumas and Cougars...



    Friends,

    My part-time, next door neighbor called last night to let me know that when she drove home from her cabin on Sunday, she had to make a panic stop halfway down the street to avoid hitting a mountain lion. "I don't know if you leave your dog out overnight (I don't because she'll bark at rustling leaves and nobody will get any sleep), but I'll bet that mountain lion would have no trouble climbing your fence."

    I have a couple thoughts about this. The first would be that she must not have been that worried to wait until Tuesday. Maybe it looked sickly or sort of unmotivated. The second is that despite the delay, I still took time out of my evening last night to lose my mind over every tiny noise inside or outside. But my biggest concern isn't that the nice kitty will climb the fence…



    Your pal,

    - bob

    Wednesday
    Jul272011

    Blink.

    I can't bear to look.
    Friends,

    Congress has decided to play a game of chicken with the finances of the United States. A game of high-speed mumbley peg with the nation's digits under their rusty jack knife. What's worse, (a worse thing, or are you extending the metaphor? -ed) is that the country's economy hasn't recovered enough to afford even a tetanus shot against the missteps of these ham-fisted apes. Before you get all fiscal on me, I'm not cutting the prevaricator in chief any slack on this either. He had the opportunity at the beginning of the year to ask for a clean debt increase bill and missed his chance. Now it's the '72 Munich Olympics in the capitol with our finances held at gunpoint, all due to some red meat types latching on to the idea that a debt limit increase is for future spending and not to pay for stuff we already bought.

    The Treasury Department has set a deadline for next Monday when we'll run out of money to write checks for government things, like checks for pensioners and tranquilizers to keep the space monsters we've locked up from eating us. We're in a pickle, folks.

    What will happen? Will the legislative and executive branches cut a last-minute deal? Will the president, in lieu of a deal, exert his executive privilege to extend the debt ceiling on his own? Will the "full faith and credit of the United States" be as suspect as a clean lab result from a professional bicycle racer? The answer to these questions, and whether we're all doomed, will be answered next Monday.

    In the meanwhile, fill up your gas tanks. Just saying.

    - bob
    Wednesday
    Jun012011

    Small Stories About Disappointing Things

    Don't look away.
    Friends,

    As the tags indicate, I think these things are related to each other in some way. I'm not sure you'll agree, but let's throw this stuff in the pot and see if we end up with stew...

    • There were a couple little automobile races on Sunday, starting with the American classic — the Indianapolis 500. My houseguests and I didn't care so much, but we watched the thing anyway and towards the end, fell in love with the pluck of rookie JR Hildebrand. What a clever fuel strategy! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! Look! It's the white flag and this kid's in front! And then he crashed on Turn Four, right before the finish line. On to our next story...
    • Nascar certainly can't let Indy Car have all the fun, so they decided to run a longer race on the same day. Again, we didn't care until the very end, but what's this? Dale Earnhardt Jr. is winning in the last lap! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! What a clever fuel strategy! Then he ran out of gas and some other guy won. Now for weasels.
    • My dear friend called this evening with a story that gives sharks and bastards a bad name. Her father is struggling with Alzheimer's Disease, but lawyers would like to depose him to testify in a dispute over a land deal from the 80s. His lawyers protested that he was too ill to travel and sit and speak under oath for hours, but the opposition hired an investigator to prove this wrong. Video camera at the ready, the investigator ignited an M80 outside his front door and recorded him ambling to the window to determine the source of the commotion. See? He can move around just fine, your honor. One more...
    • As long-time followers of this mess surely know, my hours at the Far Eastern Outpost of San Diego's Omnipresent Charitable Organization have been cut in half. In fact, my Wednesdays are literally cut in half to make the timing work. This knowledge did not prevent one of the bosses from getting huffy that I was not available to solve problems with his personal home computer not receiving company email in a timely manner. Allow me to clarify — one of the people who got together and decided to send me halfway out into the dodgy financial wilderness has the gall to protest that I'm not there often enough? Really? Seriously? I find this behavior stunning.

    So, how was your Wednesday?

    - bob

    Tuesday
    May102011

    This Seems Bad

    Friends,

    This stinks. A real virus out in the wild for Macintosh? Really? For reals? Don't sign up for any antivirus software for the Mac just yet. Even they don't know how to deal with this at the moment, so don't throw money at folks out of panic. Here at our Secret Alpine Laboratory, we've been working on a timer to let you know exactly when to panic. Not yet, my pretties. Not yet.

    Just be careful out there people.

    - bob


    UPDATE: Here's a non-hysterical list of antivirus and malware-ratting-out software for the Mac from Lifehacker. I'm going to run some free stuff for a little while to see if it doesn't stink too bad and I'll let you know how that turns out. This whole think stinks, kinda like the Russian mob telling you that you have to start wearing briefs under your kilt.

    Tuesday
    Apr122011

    Earthquake Watch 2011! - Is and Isn't Edition

     

    Friends,

    Japanese authorities today raised the severity rating of the slow motion disaster occurring at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7. Now I know what you're saying (he really does. it's kinda creepy. - ed), "On a scale of what? 1 to 10? 1 to 100? I need context." This is a 7 on a scale of one to Chernobyl, where Chernobyl also equals 7. There's no need to panic though. Just listen to the soothing words of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan…

    "Right now, the situation of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant has been stabilizing step by step. The amount of radiation leaks is on the decline," he said. "But we are not at the stage yet where we can let our guards down."

    The amount's on the decline! Hooray! Maybe this is just some bureaucratic way to divert more resources to the problem. Like the difference here between a storm warning and an urgent storm warning…

    And a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which runs the plant, suggested it could even end up being worse than Chernobyl.

    Oh. Dear.

    "The classification of seven means there's a leak of radiation into the wider environment; and although it'll be interpreted as being 'the same as Chernobyl', it's not the same," said Paddy Regan, professor of physics at the UK's University of Surrey.

    It's not the same! Paddy says so.

    And what Paddy says, goes. For now.

    - bob

    Wednesday
    Mar232011

    Earthquake Watch 2011! - Fallout Edition

    ol' buddy, ol' pal.

    Friends,

    It's been a couple weeks since horrifying devastation was wrought on Japan by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and giant tsunami, but what we seem to continue to focus on isn't the human tragedy, but the threat of the unchecked release of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Some people I trust don't think we should worry about it here on the left coast of the United States, which makes perfect sense to me. Some suggest that the plant was bound to fail in the first place. All I know now is that it's time for everyone here in unincorporated rural southwestern Riverside County to lose your minds because they've found radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima plant in a collector in Riverside. Shhh!

    The amount they found is as tiny as you would expect according to the monkey botherers over at the EPA [warning: PDF link]. All the usual suspects are here though. You've got your iodine, your cesium, your tellurium; all stuck to a little gizmo waving around up in the green-gray atmosphere of Riverside, CA. How much? The press release doesn't say except to patronize us with a "100,000 times less radiation than a roundtrip international flight (to chernobyl? -ed)" line. We're big boys and girls (speak for yourself. -ed), we can take the numbers. If anything at all has come of the calamity that has befallen Japan, it's that we've all become amateur physicists through the reporting.

    Of course some people seem to be having difficulty adjusting to this new world we're facing. Take for instance the fellow in Hemet who took after a couple people with a samurai sword yesterday. I know you're thinking two things; first, aren't the Hemet police under siege from deadly gangs of dentists? Why yes they are, but things have calmed down to the point where they could immediately arrest the assailant. The second, and most important question you have must be, what does this have to do with that?

    Certainly not this. Or this hysterical tripe.

    - bob

    Friday
    Mar112011

    Earthquake Watch 2011 - Japan! Edition!

    Friends,

    Early this morning, Japan suffered the largest earthquake in her recorded history with dozens and dozens of known casualties. Living out here on the left coast of the continental United States, we have a certain familiarity with quakes and tend to shrug them off as a rule, but magnitude 8.9 really made me sit up and take notice.

     


    Our thoughts are with them as they cope with the aftermath of this disaster.


    Your pal,

    - bob